Breaking down Sale's MLB starting debut

728202.png

Breaking down Sale's MLB starting debut

Chris Sale's line today: 6 23 innings pitched, one run, three hits, two walks, five strikeouts, nine groundouts, three flyouts, 100 pitches.

Doesn't sound like someone who hasn't started a game in the majors, right?

The thing that pops out is how many ground balls Sale got. A big question coming into this year was about his ability to command the strike zone with dialed-back stuff, and Sale answered that question positively on Monday. He kept the ball low in the zone with a fastball that averaged about 92 miles per hour -- around four miles per hour slower than his average velocity as a reliever.

The key was that Sale didn't try to strike everybody out. He could get away with that as a reliever and often succeeded doing so, but through 100 pitches, he had to be more efficient. And he was. That's extremely encouraging.

Sale's fastball was his best offering on Monday, but his slider and changeup were good as well. He only threw 12 changes -- right in line with his 11.7 percent usage of that pitch as a reliever last year.

It's just one start, but that's an early answer to another Sale question: He's not throwing his changeup more as a starter than as a reliever. And he probably doesn't have to -- 12 pitches in 100 is about right for a third pitch.

Overall, here's how Sale's offerings broke down (via Brooks Baseball): 57 fastballs, 31 sliders, 12 changeups. His percentages in his two years of relieving: 55 percent fastballs, 35 percent sliders, 10 percent changeups. So little has changed in his pitch selection, at least through one start.

There's not much Sale could've done better in his first start. Now he's just gotta do it 30 more times this year.

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The leading candidate to be the team’s starting center fielder, Charlie Tilson has been temporarily shut down after he suffered a stress reaction in his right foot.

Tilson suffered the injury while running in a workout on Friday and had an MRI performed on Saturday. A team official said Tilson’s injury isn’t as severe as a fracture but he’d be sidelined for 10 days, at which point he’d be re-evaluated. Acquired last July, the White Sox rookie was already rehabbing from a torn left hamstring that ended his 2016 season early.

The White Sox acquired the New Trier High School product from the St. Louis Cardinals last July in exchange for left-hander Zach Duke. Tilson was immediately called up as the White Sox intended to try him out in center field the rest of the season. But Tilson suffered a season-ending injury in his major league debut while tracking down a fly ball and had surgery several days later.

Tilson had made good progress in his rehab and was a full participant in a hitter’s camp at Camelback Ranch last month. Earlier this week, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Tilson was a top candidate to take over as the club’s starting center fielder if he was healthy.

CSN's Dan Hayes meets the White Sox Dan Hayes

CSN's Dan Hayes meets the White Sox Dan Hayes

Is the White Sox clubhouse big enough for two Dan Hayeses?

We're about to find out this spring training as CSN White Sox Insider Dan Hayes covers the team, which includes first base prospect Danny Hayes.

The Sox prospect Hayes battled .250 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs in 55 games for Charlotte last season.

The big-league hopeful and White Sox beat reporter spoke with CSN's Chuck Garfien about the similarities the two (don't) have.

No word yet on whether they'll battle the two Rougned Odors and Geovani/Geovany Sotos to an Anchoman-style duel.

Check it all out in the hilarious video above.